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Siege of Power - Warning Blast Award winner

Siege of Power
Warning Blast
by Chris Hawkins at 27 August 2018, 3:45 PM

Before jumping right into the review, it must first be stated that I knew nothing about the band before listening to them.  In fact, when I first listened to this, it was by accident since I had thought I’d selected differently to be played on my computer.  To my surprise a few moments later, I was greeted with a relentless exposition of crushing Death Metal and violently angry classic Hardcore, devoid of anything trendy or weak.  After listening to the album almost twice through, I read the bio and everything made sense.  To call this an All-Star Death Metal project is a just assessment as the band is comprised of members of AUTOPSY, ASPHYX, and SOULBURN.

Conquest for What” opens the ceremonies with a brief preview of the band’s charm with its massive, grinding distorted bass spear heading the dirty groove.  One can hear the grind of Jörgen Sandstrom in the monstrous bass tracks.  The following track is titled, “For the Pain” and has an authoritatively old school vibe.  One can hear the dark spell of VENOM underneath.  The third track, “Bulldozing Skulls” contains a slow, demonstrative riff which sets the bar high by starting the song in ENTOMBED territory via BLACK SABBATH. “Uglification,” the sixth track, reminds one of CARNIVORE in the way the vocals are forcefully shouted and sung.  The next track, “Trapped and Blinded” references another NYHC band, but this time it is S.O.D.  The first riff has their type of infectious groove (!).  Throughout the album, there have been varied moments when the vocals style of Billy Milano has been employed.

When listening to the tenth track, “Mushroom Cloud Affair,” one is immediately mesmerized by the slide of the main riff.  The song has that classic desperately fearful disposition.  The heaviness of the band is cemented by the sonic mass created by the combination of the guitar and bass.  The following track, “Lost and Insane,” is framed by a main section that is akin to CELTIC FROST with its dissonant riff which then gives way to a very CARNIVORE type of section.  Chris Reifert even proclaims, “I’m losing my fucking mind!” in tribute to Peter.  Some of the heaviest tiffs on the album are found on the next track, “Bleeding for the Cause,” with its straight-forward take on Death Metal a la BOLT THROWER.

Short Fuse,” at the 15th position, produces a sound similar to that from the very early 1990s.  This is done by stringing together different perpendicular Harcdcore riffs.  My personal favorite track on the record is number 16, “Violence in the Air”.  It has the marriage of a furious double-picked guitar riff to a violent vocal imagining of Peter Steele.  The breakdown is about as fierce as I’ve heard in a long, long time. While other bands are referenced they are not stolen from but rather honored by a band of lifer musicians that know what they like in their music.  Thankfully, we will benefit from their rapport as this album is solid, full of some of the best moments in heavy music today.

Any true lover of heavy music will appreciate this.  While SIEGE OF POWER do not hide their influences, they certainly do them justice as they reverently pay them respect.  This is one of those bands that has managed to capture a sound that will appeal to everyone from fans of the CRO MAGS to CROWBAR to ASPHYX (obviously).  A lot of valuable real estate is represented with this record, everything fro Hardcore to Death Metal, the extremes of each solidifying into a massively heavy slab of Metal. This is made for the pit from the tongue-in-cheek Peter Steele shock lyrics to the relentless sway of the riffs locked in with the drums.  Any fan of bass guitar in particular will enjoy this album as it contains some slamming sections highlighted by a vibrant bass tone that growls and breathes fire.  Blending the two stringed instruments in their genre-defining glory with the authoritatively brutal drums and sincerely psycho, aggro- ramblings of the vocals creates a timeless album, hopefully the first of many more.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9


4 Star Rating

1. Conquest for What
2. For the Pain
3. Bulldozing Skulls
4. Born into Hate
5. Torture Lab
6. Uglilfication
7. Trapped and Blinded
8. Diatribe
9. Warning Blast
10. Mushroom Cloud Altar
11. Lost and Insane
12. Bleeding for the Cause
13. Escalation ‘til Extermination
14. Priviledged Prick
15. Short Fuse
16. Violence in the Air
17. It Will Never Happen
18. The Cold Room
19. Servant of Nothing (Bonus)
20. Mushroom Cloud Altar (Bonus)
Chris Reifert - Vocals
Paul Baayens – Guitars
Theo van Eekelen – Bass
Bob Bagchus - Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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Edited 25 May 2020

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